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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to be upgrading very shortly and would greatly some advice and guidance from people more familiar with these manufactures then myself.


First off, I currently have a 9.2 setup using a Denon AVR-4520ci receiver along with a Emotiva amp (XPA5, 5x200 for the "heart" of the system) and the following speakers -


Front L/R = Klipsch RF-82

Center = Klipsch RF-52

Front high = Klipsch RS-52

SB/SS = Klipsch RS-42

Subs = Chase home theatre VS18.1x2 W/600 watt rms Dayton amp.


My usage is as follows - 75% TV/Movies, 23% video games, and 2% music. I'm looking to upgrade my speakers and would appreciate some feedback as I won't be able to listen to any of these in person and basically have to order sight unseen/unheard. The following speakers are the options I am looking at and would appreciate some feedback based on my usage -


Martin Logan - Theos L/R with Motif X Center channel

Martin Logan - Electromotion ESL L/R with Motif Center Channel


Bowers & Wilkins - CM9 L/R with CM Centre 2

Bowers & Wilkins - CM8 L/R with CM Centre


Definitive - BP7000SC L/R with CS-8080HD center channel


Due to the cost I will be keeping the klipsch surrounds for now and am focusing on front L/R/C at this time.


Can anybody give me some feedback on those potential speakers? I'm not sure if the ESL speakers are more for suited for music or if they are a good fit for movie+TV as well - I tried some googling with not much luck. Any and all feedback is appreciated as this is a big purchase and I want to make sure I get it right.


Thank you very much!
 

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For the kind of money that you are looking to spend, I highly recommend that you go with a pair of Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers with a Horizon center channel as those would best any of the speakers you listed by quite a large margin!


I have spent a lot of time with the Martin Logan's, and have heard those B&W's probably 6 to 8 times, plus I am a former owner of those Definitive Technology speakers, and I am here to tell you that the Sierra Towers and Horizon center channel is worlds above all of those. It literally makes my stomach turn knowing that people spend all that money on the BP-7000's and CM9's when for the same price they could have an Ascend or Salk setup that would rivel any speaker in the sub $20k price range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The lowest price for those Sierra acoustic appears to be around $1900 a pair plus tax, shipping etc and I am able to get any pair of the speakers in my first post for under $1600 total with shipping (and other models within those brands) which is why I "have" to stick with those brands at a minimum.. I'm not spending nearly as much money as it may seem
 

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For 2% music application, why would you change your speakers. I have heard your speakers, as well as ML & B&W. And I used to own the BP7000. I liked the BP7000 the best of the 4 for music, but for movies, I think the Klipsch is just as good as any.


So I would not waste any money.


And you already have dual Chase 18" subs.


Definitely don't buy anything unless you audition first. You may find the "upgrade" insignificant.


What sounds "great" to one person may sound "mediocre" to another.


When I owned the BP7000, I compared it to ML Vantage, B&W 800D, RBH T2, and many others for music. To me, only the RBH sounded "better". I actually preferred the BP7000 over the 800D & others, except RBH.


But I thought the Klipsch sounded pretty good.


Audition, audition, audition. And don't just take anyone's word.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I made a trek and was able to listen to everything aside from the definitive speakers. I have to say - unless their stuff was configured poorly, i was very unimpressed with what I heard! I'm still looking to find the definitives to hear in person but I can honestly say I ruled the others out. I did see a very impressive 65" 4k TV while I was at the store.... Funds may need to be diverted to a different item!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by codee  /t/1489528/martinlogan-vs-bowers-wilkins-vs-definitive#post_23711016


I made a trek and was able to listen to everything aside from the definitive speakers. I have to say - unless their stuff was configured poorly, i was very unimpressed with what I heard! I'm still looking to find the definitives to hear in person but I can honestly say I ruled the others out. I did see a very impressive 65" 4k TV while I was at the store.... Funds may need to be diverted to a different item!

NHT offers free 30- day trial free shipping both ways. I also like NHT.
 

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I really love martin logans for music and movies. They are extremely detailed and natural and have a clarity that most dynamic speakers cannot match. Their transient response is extremely fast.


You will have to use really good electronics if you want them to sound their best. If you chose a receiver you really must not use an inexpensive one. If you use cheap electronics they will let you hear the quality (or lack thereof).


The logans do have the controlled dispersion that you are used to with the klipsh and with the dipole radiation of the logans can sound Huge. The room becomes LESS of an issue with the logans because of the controlled vertical dispersion and horizontal dispersion. They have extremely low harmonic distortion as well, on the order that amplifiers have. After you listen to them for a while any dynamic speaker will probably sound "fuzzy" to you.


I have been in the local best buy/magnolia and you will NOT get a good demonstration of how they will sound there. In fact depending on the setup there you might think they suck.


I would chose them over the two other brands that you had mentioned. I have listened to those as well. If you want to know more contact me in a PM or on my web site via the contact info there.


I am not a dealer for any of the lines mentioned, BTW.


Tim
 

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For what it's worth I bought B&W CM9's and CMC2 and upgraded to MartinLogan Theos 4-5 months later. I liked the B&M's for music but loved the MartinLogans for home theater. Most people are the opposite, get electrostats for music and feel they aren't dynamic enough for movies. But they just sound so crisp and detailed for action movies and video games to me.
 

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I've heard all of the OP's choices and all are excellent. We were so close to the Martin Logans as they just sounded beautiful but only if you were in the sweet spot, venture outside that sweet spot and the bipolar speakers were needed. To me the 7000's were the obvious choice but i couldn't afford them so I ended 8040's instead.


What i love about the deftech towers is they sound excellent for theater and music, I don't feel like i gave up anything with these speakers.
 

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Given your usage... B&W and Martin Logan just don't make sense. They're ideal for Sound Staging when listening to Pure Direct with good music. The Def. Tech are 100% Theater Speakers, much like your currently owned Klipsch's are. The speakers you're looking at from them has Powered Subwoofers inside - following Def. Tech's usual mantra of 'Base from every direction'. IMHO - Def. Tech. makes the most sense based upon your requested desires.

 

I'm personally a Die Hard Martin Logan fan (Personally own a pair of Ethos (L/R), Stage X (C), Motion 4 (SBL/SBR), and Motion FX's (SL/SR). However, the CM9's from B&W have a very tight mid/high production, as well as damn good Sound Staging qualities. Given your usage is entertainment - none of that matters!

 

So, Def. Tech 'fo 'sho.
 

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I am actually (almost) LITERALLY in the same boat.


I was just searching the forums for a comparison between Definitive, Martin Logan, and Bowers & Wilkins, because I can also get those three brands at an excellent price (and am limited to just those) and would like to figure out which will work best.


I'm currently running a Denon AVR-X4000 receiver and a Klipsch 5.1 surround system with 2x SF-3 towers, 2x SS-3 surrounds, an SC-3 center and a KSW-12 sub (it's about 10 years old now), and am basically looking to upgrade. My usage pattern is pretty similar - I mostly (80%) watch movies and TV shows (Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad when it was on, etc), though I occasionally play video games (15%) and rarely play music (5%) (though that usage is going up now that my housemates have figured out how to use Airplay).


My choices are similar but not the same; I've narrowed it down to these systems:


Martin Logan - Theos (L/R) with Motif X Center channel

Martin Logan - Electromotion ESL (L/R) with ElectroMotion C2 Center Channel

Martin Logan - Motion FX (Surround L/R; will go for this with either of the above)



Bowers & Wilkins - CM9 (L/R) with CM Centre

Bowers & Wilkins - CM8 (L/R) with CM Centre

Bowers & Wilkins - CM5 (Surround L/R; will go for this with either of the above)



Definitive - BP-8080ST (L/R) with CS-8080HD center channel (though... do I really need another subwoofer? Will the 8040 be adequate?)

Mythos Gem XL (Surround L/R)


I'm leaning towards the Definitive Technology system but am curious if anyone has arguments for the other two brands, particularly Martin Logan. Since most of my usage is TV shows / movies / video games, I didn't consider it originally, but I figure it's worth asking.


Oh, almost forgot the rest of my equipment: Panasonic 65" 65VT50, PS3, Xbox 360, Ouya. I mostly use the PS3 and Xbox 360 for streaming media from my PC, but I occasionally pop in a Blu-Ray.


Anyway, thanks in advance for the advice!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil-Rage  /t/1489528/martinlogan-vs-bowers-wilkins-vs-definitive#post_24130922


I am actually (almost) LITERALLY in the same boat.


I was just searching the forums for a comparison between Definitive, Martin Logan, and Bowers & Wilkins, because I can also get those three brands at an excellent price (and am limited to just those) and would like to figure out which will work best.


I'm currently running a Denon AVR-X4000 receiver and a Klipsch 5.1 surround system with 2x SF-3 towers, 2x SS-3 surrounds, an SC-3 center and a KSW-12 sub (it's about 10 years old now), and am basically looking to upgrade. My usage pattern is pretty similar - I mostly (80%) watch movies and TV shows (Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad when it was on, etc), though I occasionally play video games (15%) and rarely play music (5%) (though that usage is going up now that my housemates have figured out how to use Airplay).


My choices are similar but not the same; I've narrowed it down to these systems:


Martin Logan - Theos (L/R) with Motif X Center channel

Martin Logan - Electromotion ESL (L/R) with ElectroMotion C2 Center Channel

Martin Logan - Motion FX (Surround L/R; will go for this with either of the above)



Bowers & Wilkins - CM9 (L/R) with CM Centre

Bowers & Wilkins - CM8 (L/R) with CM Centre

Bowers & Wilkins - CM5 (Surround L/R; will go for this with either of the above)



Definitive - BP-8080ST (L/R) with CS-8080HD center channel (though... do I really need another subwoofer? Will the 8040 be adequate?)

Mythos Gem XL (Surround L/R)


I'm leaning towards the Definitive Technology system but am curious if anyone has arguments for the other two brands, particularly Martin Logan. Since most of my usage is TV shows / movies / video games, I didn't consider it originally, but I figure it's worth asking.


Oh, almost forgot the rest of my equipment: Panasonic 65" 65VT50, PS3, Xbox 360, Ouya. I mostly use the PS3 and Xbox 360 for streaming media from my PC, but I occasionally pop in a Blu-Ray.


Anyway, thanks in advance for the advice!


I agree with what the others in the is tread have commented.


Having just upgraded my ML Vistas and Fresco I to Montis and a EM C2 center, I can tell you that ML is great at home theater, even in my prior set up. I also have dual ML Depth I subs to complement my system.


ML's are tricky in the sense that placement is very important. They need to be several feet out in front of the back wall slightly toed in to the main listening position. I also think that in a home theater set up, a sub or subs is an absolute necessity, especially considering that most of your use with be for HT.


I wouldn't say that any of the speakers would work best as they all have strengths and weaknesses.


If I were you though, in the ML configuration, I would consider moving up from Theos to Ethos (powered woofer built in) and matching that with the C2 center (imo, the C2 will make you just as happy as the Motif X).


Since Theos does not have a powered woofer, it will want more power from your receiver to make them sing, so they will be more difficult to drive with your receiver.


Bottom line is that this comes down to your budget and desires. I suggest you audition them all before jumping in.



Good luck!
 

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Any ideas on subwoofers? I was originally considering going without (and using the built-in subwoofers on the def tech fronts) but my Klipsch subwoofer just died and I want to get something to replace it right now that will complement the new system. Sticking to Martin Logan, Def Tech, and B&W. But I guess leaning towards Def Tech - they just have a lot of options for subs. =\
 

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HT without a subwoofer just isnt HT. There are very few towers that can reach down to 20 hz and lower with authority. If you dont plan on listening at reference levels then the ML are good options. In a large room at very loud volumes Im not a huge fan of the ML. They dont have the dynamics at loud volumes. JTR makes some very nice speakers and the Klipsch THX models are very nice as well.


The def tech subs are quite poor performers and very expensive. Look at SVS, HSU, PSA. They would all destroy the def tech subs and cost much less.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubSolar  /t/1489528/martinlogan-vs-bowers-wilkins-vs-definitive#post_23728330


For what it's worth I bought B&W CM9's and CMC2 and upgraded to MartinLogan Theos 4-5 months later. I liked the B&M's for music but loved the MartinLogans for home theater. Most people are the opposite, get electrostats for music and feel they aren't dynamic enough for movies. But they just sound so crisp and detailed for action movies and video games to me.
may i ask how did you sell your b&ws? Are the electrostats still better for music? I have B&W pm1's thinking of upgrading to cm10s or theos/ethos/montis. I Definitely prioritize music. Have heard ESL and ethos, both good but ethos were awesome.. Were theos a lot better than esl??
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by papashango61  /t/1489528/martinlogan-vs-bowers-wilkins-vs-definitive#post_24298094



may i ask how did you sell your b&ws? Are the electrostats still better for music? I have B&W pm1's thinking of upgrading to cm10s or theos/ethos/montis. I Definitely prioritize music. Have heard ESL and ethos, both good but ethos were awesome.. Were theos a lot better than esl??

I tried selling them but no one locally would give me a decent price. So now using them as expensive surround speakers.
Electrostats definitely sound more like the singer is in the same room as you. I don't have golden ears so I probably would have been fine with the ESL's, I wanted the Theos for the larger panels/sweet spot. The Theos and Ethos use the same panel, just the digital processing/powered woofer is different on the Ethos.
 

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I got lucky and was able to do a side by side comparison between Def tech ST, the new Def tech STLs and Martin Logan Theos. My Amp is Marantz 7005 and my sub woofer is Def tech Supercube reference - 1800 W.


I wanted to keep my variables simple so I tested playing music in Stereo mode so the only speakers in play were the 2 Main speakers and the Subwoofer. I used the A/B speaker swith on my Amp to switch quickly between the speakers.


First I compared the ST to STL. I was not expecting much of an improvement, but I was blown away by the difference. Much cleaner mid range, bass was also better (tighter) due to the 1500 W built in subs.


Next I compared the STLs to the Martin Logan Theos. I was surprised again. The STLs were way ahead of the Martin Logans as well! I even used the Audyssey EQ set up on the Marantz and optimized it for the Theos, but def tech was still clearly the winner.


I am not a re-seller for any equipment, just thought I would report what I found when I got a chance to compare these speakers side by side.
 
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